Posted by: learningwoman | May 1, 2008

First two-year-old tantrum

My soft, gentle, relaxed, smiling, easy-going little boy had his first stand-up, fists-clenched, chin-jutting-forward, screaming tantrum yesterday.

At the supermarket. In a trolley full of the week’s shopping.

He was tired. I knew that but I was nearly finished and our fridge was almost empty, so I kept going, offering him soothing words as he got ever more agitated until finally, he started shouting at me.

“I want to get OUT! Stop this TROLLEY! I am NOT Happy!”

Followed by a gutteral roaring which startled the old lady next to us into dropping her frozen peas back into the freezer.

I was startled too and I made the fatal mistake of laughing in surprise, which of course wound him up even more.

“Noooo! Not laughing! Stop it! NOW!”

His little face was red and scrunched into a wrinkled scowl that reminded me of when he was first born. He’s discovering himself, this boy. Discovering that there are choices out there to be made and experimenting to see which of them are his to make.

I remember when S. got to this stage, at almost this exact age. I’d known it was coming but his tantrums were so big, so unbridled. I wondered where my sweet boy had gone. Now, with Z, I know that it doesn’t last for ever, that eventually they settle down and relax again, so I feel more philosophical about it.

I’m bracing myself though. Usually when I put him into bed, Z. smiles happily, snuggles down and goes to sleep. (S. most emphatically did NOT do this and I’ve been very grateful to Z. for being so reasonable about it..)

Yesterday, he very firmly told me it was not bed time and he wanted to come downstairs. “I know you do darling but it’s sleeping time now. You can come downstairs in the morning.”

Ensued another tantrum, but he did lie down in the end and fall asleep.

Oh well, it begins.. 🙂



  1. Good Luck!

    I’m still waiting for my ten year old to grow out of it!! *rolls eyes*

  2. 🙂 I’ll look forward to that then…

  3. I lucked out… neither of my children had tantrums at 2.

    My daughter’s started at about 4, and have (mostly) stopped by 8. My son is 3 and has had, I think, two.

    But I know better, this time around, than to get complacent. The tantrums are coming… my kids just wait a little longer.

  4. Hi Kate, tantrums at whatever age are a bit wearing I think 🙂
    I’m pretty sure I remember driving my mother to distraction with mine…

  5. As I have no children myself and I always hand back those I have borrowed when they act up, I can only go by the tails I have heard about my own behavior at this age, and I didn’t really throw tantrums.

    I would wander away and when found knowing I was in trouble would begin to yell “Do you know how dangerous it is to leave a child alone? I was so scared!”

    My other favorite was to go mute when someone approached and cooed and baby talked at me, refusing to speak and only made gargling sounds until they walked away and then in a loud voice that made the person jerk around and wonder if I was a dwarf would ask my mom “Who was that?” in a tone that conveyed contempt of their intelligence and lineage.

    It is a wonder that I was taken out of the house at all. : )

  6. Hey Fallenangel, you’re funny today! 🙂

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